Northern Resource Abundance


In the 1880s and early 1890s the Geological and Natural History Survey of Canada began to send surveyors to the Northwest. They discovered the northern region to be rich in resources such as bitumen, petroleum, natural gas and oil.

This led to a greater initiative within the government to negotiate a treaty in the North. This reaction followed the government’s policy of only negotiating treaties in areas where settlement or land use was desirable or imminent. In following years after the discovery of natural resources the Canadian Government would implement changes that would greatly effect the local Indigenous populations in Northern Saskatchewan. Relocations southward would dislocate First Nations and Metis peoples from their communities and territories, often affecting their subsistence patterns because land and resources in new locations were poor quality. Additionally, development of the land in resource extraction or hydrology could effect the surround environment - interrupting animal migration patterns, causing floods, and lowering the quality of resources like water, plants, and other food sources.